Community, Latest News, Monongalia County

Mon Commission wants another review of subdivision regs, buys land in Mylan Park

MORGANTOWN — The Monongalia County Commission has hired Lewis Glasser PLLC, of Charleston, to conduct an additional review of the county’s subdivision regulation document.

The county will be billed an hourly rate based on the level of attention the potential county regulations require. 

On Dec. 1, Monongalia County Director of Planning Andrew Gast-Bray said rollout of the regulations would be pushed back at least a month to allow additional dialogue with the local development community.

Some of that dialogue, according to Commission President Sean Sikora, focused on potential conflicts with state code.

“Basically, we’re doing our due diligence to ensure that we have checked all areas of the proposed ordinance. We had some local input that some of the areas of the ordinance may not be in compliance with state law,” Sikora said. “We may be talking about semantics between our ordinance and the state regulations, but they’re going to look at it.”

According to The Dominion Post archive, the commission approved a $30,000 contract with STS Consulting, of Columbia, Md., in October of 2018 to finalize the ordinance. The commission approved an additional $12,000 for that effort late last year.

Commissioner Tom Bloom voted in favor of the additional review, but questioned why it’s necessary. Bloom said he’s awaiting a response from STS Consulting regarding the specific questions and concerns being raised.

“I still want an answer from them. We paid them funds. I believe they need to respond,” Bloom said. “Then that also can be reviewed. I think that’s very important, too.”

The subdivision regulation saga in Monongalia County stretches back decades, including major initiatives that were undertaken, and ultimately abandoned, in 1978, 1994 and 2009.

This latest effort, which took off in earnest with the hiring of Gast-Bray in April 2019,  can trace its origins back to 2013, under former Planning Director Rich Wood.

In other county news, the commission has approved a purchase agreement with Mylan Park for the land upon which the Monongalia County Extension Services and 4-H Center — now called the Monongalia County Center — sits.

The county will pay $583,357 for 4.643 acres, or $125,000 an acre.

The $22,499.91 the county has already paid in lease payments will be credited toward the purchase price.

Lastly, county employees will have until June 30, 2022 to use their 2021 annual and personal leave.

The commission approved a similar extension last year in light of the ongoing pandemic.

There will be no Monongalia County Commission meeting on Dec. 29.

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